Words are never enough

Posted by John Sauven — 16 December 2014 at 2:33pm - Comments

Words are not enough. I know that. But I want to start by saying how deeply disappointed and sorry I am for the activity undertaken in the name of Greenpeace at the Nazca lines in Peru last week during the climate talks.

The place chosen for holding a banner showed a regrettable disregard for the culture of Peru and the importance of not going to fragile and culturally important sites without authorisation. Greenpeace International’s Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, has this week met with the Peruvian Minister of Culture, who is responsible for the site, to offer an apology. Kumi has assured the Minister that we will fully participate in any investigation into the activity.

I agree wholeheartedly with Kumi when he says: “This is against Greenpeace policy. It’s against our values. And it just shouldn’t have happened. Internally in Greenpeace I am committed to having a fast investigation to understand who took the decision, how it was taken and hold the people responsible accountable”.

For many years, Greenpeace offices around the world have been making concerted efforts to reach out to and collaborate with communities everywhere. We understand the importance of being a respectful ally who can learn from our partners and ensure the work we do reflects and supports all communities. This action did not measure up to that commitment. But this activity is not who we are. It is not what we believe in, and this is not what I believe in.

Greenpeace International is conducting an investigation into how it was possible for this to have happened. The result of this investigation will inform changes that Greenpeace will make to try and ensure something like this can never happen again.

Together there are millions of us around the world who care passionately about protecting the planet for future generations and we are so grateful that many of you have chosen to support Greenpeace’s work too.

We’re listening to everything you're saying, and we continue to welcome and pass along all your feedback. We know that it will take time, but in the coming months and years we’ll be doing everything we can to rebuild the trust we’ve lost and become a better Greenpeace as a result.

John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK

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